With Matt Holliday's quadriceps injury finally landing him on the disabled list the St. Louis Cardinals' young outfield platoon, Allen Craig and Jon Jay, will once again get some everyday work in the outfield. The de facto starters in right field before Lance Berkman was signed as a free agent, Craig and Jay have gotten off to outstanding starts in part-time roles, with Craig emerging as an occasional second baseman despite having never played the position before.â†µ
With his pinch home run yesterday, Craig has hit four home runs and seven doubles in his 95 at-bats, driving his seasonal line up to .337/.402/.537. With a few more walks than usual that's about the line that Craig put up year after year at each minor league stop; he's not likely to stay quite this good in the Major Leagues, but he's a legitimate hitter whose newfound versatility will ensure the Cardinals find places to play him.
Jon Jay has put together a hot streak as brilliant as the one that earned him notice as a rookie in 2010; after a slow start in 2011 he's hitting .342/.400/.500 with four home runs in 114 at-bats. The average and the plate discipline aren't as surprising as the power; a 10-15 home run type in the minors, Jay hit four home runs in 287 at-bats in his first stint in the Major Leagues.â†µ
It's tough to tell, as a fantasy baseball owner of Matt Holliday, who the Cardinals might play on a given night, but either player is capable of doing some damage for the real Cardinals in his absence.â†µ